26.6.07

HURRY UP AND WAIT. I don't intend to live-blog the non-American America's Cup coverage. (Last attempt here, when the race ended very quickly.) I am taking this opportunity, however, to offer a few perspectives on the postponement race 3 is currently enduring. I have dealt with postponements both as a racer and as a race officer. They are frustrating for everybody. But -- as with rain delays in baseball and thunderstorm delays in space shots -- they are a necessary evil. Come summertime, the doldrums seem to metastasize to cover the entire northern hemisphere, and they have an evil propensity to show up just as regatta season is upon us. The race committee has to ensure a fair race, which is a bit difficult to do when the only wind is thermals. As I prepare to hit the "publish" button I'm hearing the principal race officer announce a start sequence at literally the last minute -- if the start is postponed more than 90 minutes, there is no racing for the day. The wind is still flukey. Expect course changes at each mark, and prepare for the race to time out if neither boat makes the top mark in 40 minutes.

SECOND SECTION: That would have been a painful race to live-blog. New Zealand demonstrated that one can compensate for a bad start by sailing toward the next shift and it opened up a large lead on Switzerland upwind. I've been way behind like that, and on occasion I've lucked into a favorable shift. The first time it happened I didn't recognize what was going on ... got better after that. New Zealand then gave most of it away at the gate, electing to make two gybes inside the two boatlength circle (no right of way rules applied) and ending up with the spinnaker entangled in the drum. That hasn't happened to me, because neither the M scow nor the Laser have a spinnaker. But it can be rather painful. The Swiss were able to catch up going upwind whilst New Zealand were dealing with the hardware problems, but New Zealand had one more trick in hand to capture the lead downwind and go up 2-1 with another race Wednesday. Valencia Sailing has yet to post today's gallery.

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